I have yet to meet this remarkable man, I should for I follow him often. We share a common place, my birthplace – only the last time I took a turn around the ‘platteland dorp’ I found no resemblance to the place I remembered so fondly, and could not wait to leave. Big dreams, small town … and I left. It seems life in general left too, and lately all I hear is how ugly, how depressing, how neglected and in want of resurrection she is, the lady is lying in rags in the gutter. And then there is Dave Ross.
Dave makes me want his back yard. I don’t have one. Millions of people have no more than a balcony in a council flat and concrete for playing. This looks like a ‘go to place’ for evening barbecues and playing with dinky toys. In the daytime, the smell of wet washing on that line (could anyone miss it more?). Drought, crappy municipality, no prospects … I see magic.
When the rain comes, the river swells. Barefoot on grass, clean air to breathe,
When the seasons change and the golden hue of Autumn lies on the land. Natural food, endless view.
When Nature lies quietly in the afternoon. Stopping time. Resting time. Appreciation.
Realism needs a break every now and then. I know, I know, ’tis true for the crumbling structure of buildings, of tradition of rural towns, of lives so busy and built on time, progress, social media and ready made meals – when the nostalgia clings too closely and I miss my uncomplicated childhood of this Free State Town. the memories are still there with the good people, the mocha koek, Verbruikers, The Convent, ballet lessons – just gong for a drive. Ah, going for a drive … look close to what made you happy, and look far to see what is still possible.
Good lesson Dave, making a small spot in the world look like the heaven.
Find Dave Ross Photography on Face Book. All images by Dave Ross.